After graduating summa cum laude from the University of New Mexico School of Law in Albuquerque, in 2003, Quentin Smith served as a law clerk for Justice Pamela B. Minzner of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Mr. Smith then worked as an associate for the law firm of Gilkey & Stephenson, P.A., specializing in employment and labor law. He joined Sheehan & Sheehan as an associate in May 2010 and became a Shareholder/Director in May, 2011.
Mr. Smith has successfully defended small and large employers against many types of claims, including discrimination, harassment, and wrongful discharge. He is certified by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in employment and labor law.
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Areas of Practice
- Employment and Labor Law
- General Civil Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
- Employment and Labor Law, New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization, 2008
- New Mexico, 2003
- U.S. District Court District of New Mexico, 2005
- U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 2005
- University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- J.D. (summa cum laude) – 2003
- Honors: Order of the Coif
- Law Review: New Mexico Law Review
- Texas Christian University
- B.A. (magna cum laude) – 1999
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
- Criminal Law: Applying the General/Scientific Statute Rule in New Mexico, State v. Santillanes, 32 N.M.L.Rev. 313, 2002
Published Appellate Opinions
- Lucero v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico, 2012-NMCA-055, 278 P.3d 1043 (holding that an employee must substantially comply with mandatory internal grievance procedures contained in an employee handbook before filing suit for breach of contract based on an alleged failure to the employee to follow the employee handbook).
- Wills v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico, 2015-NMCA-105, 357 P.3d 453 (holding that a personal personnel grievance that primarily benefits an employee is not a protected communication under the New Mexico Whistleblower Protection Act).
- The New EEOC Rules on Employer Wellness Programs
- The New Proposed FLSA Regulations
- OPTIONS APLENTY! Creative Ways to Comply With New Overtime Rules
- Quentin represented a national restaurant chain in a collective action lawsuit brought by the EEOC on behalf of four male employees who alleged same-sex sexual harassment. Despite the egregiousness of the alleged harassment, the case was dismissed on summary judgment based on the successful argument that the harassment was not shown to be “based on sex.”
- Quentin represented a regional company in a federal lawsuit brought by a former employee with cancer who alleged that he was terminated in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The case was dismissed on summary judgment based on the successful arguments that the plaintiff had received all rights to which he was entitled under the FMLA and that he was not a “qualified individual with a disability” under the ADA. The dismissal was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Quentin represented a local waste management authority in a federal lawsuit brought by a former employee who alleged that she was terminated in violation of her due process rights and in breach of contract. The case was dismissed on summary judgment based on the successful argument that the plaintiff was an at-will employee who was not entitled to any due process prior to her termination.
- Quentin represented a government agency in a state court lawsuit brought by an employee who alleged that he was a whistleblower who was involuntarily transferred after her reported safety concerns to his management. The case was dismissed on summary judgment based on the successful argument that the plaintiff’s report did not concern any “substantial and specific danger to the public.”
Honors and Awards
- AV® Preeminent™ rating in Martindale-Hubbell®
- Super Lawyers®, Rising Star (Employment Litigation: Defense), 2012 – Present
- Lewis Sutin Award for Excellence in Advocacy, 2003
- Clinical Honors Award, 2003
- West Book Award and Certificate for Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship by a Member of the Third-Year Class, 2003
- Lexis Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in the Third-Year Class, 2003
- Bondurant Merit Scholar, 2001
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Bar Association, Member, 2007 – Present
- New Mexico Bar Association, Member, 2007 – Present
- Bar Association for the U. S. District Court of New Mexico, Member, 2005 – Present
- Albuquerque Bar Association, Member, 2007 – Present
- Defense Research Institute, Member, 2009 – Present
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Member, 2013 – Present
Past Employment Positions
- Gilkey & Stephenson, P.A., Associate, 2004 – May 15, 2010
- New Mexico Supreme Court, Law Clerk for the Honorable Pamela Minzner, 2003 – 2004